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The 2009 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards Honor Extraordinary Californians for Innovative, Practical Solutions
Date:6/9/2009

za. More than 3,000 residents helped plan, design, build and lease Market Creek Plaza. So far, this effort has led to 11 businesses, more than 500 jobs, millions of dollars reinvested in the community and lower crime - gangs have even declared the Plaza neutral territory. Residents can also invest in this venture. Vanica helped create the nation's first Community-Development Initial Public Offering, and now 416 residents - investing as little as $200 - own 20 percent of the Plaza. Notable in the current financial environment, residents have received 10 percent annual returns on their investment. Vanica and her staff are now seeing elements of their model replicated elsewhere, while also supporting 35 local groups that are developing a dozen additional projects, including a cultural "village" with affordable housing, new retail and office space.

About The James Irvine Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. The Foundation's grantmaking focuses on three program areas: Arts, California Democracy and Youth. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided over $1 billion in grants to more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With $1.4 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $78 million in 2008 for the people of California.

    Contacts:  Jenny Park
               415.901.0111 ext. 340
               JPark@fenton.com


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